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Papers of the Week

Papers: 9 Jul 2022 - 15 Jul 2022

Pharmacology/Drug Development

2022 Jun 28

Int J Mol Sci



Preventive Intrathecal Injection of Bupivacaine Alleviated Microglia Activation and Neuropathic Pain in a Rat Model of Chronic Constriction Injury.


Wu C-C, Chang C-Y, Tzeng C-Y, Huang J-H, Hung C-J, Chen W-Y, Liao S-L, Kuan Y-H, Chen C-J
Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Jun 28; 23(13).
PMID: 35806200.


Spinal microglia are crucial to neuronal hyper-excitability and pain hypersensitivity. The local anesthetic bupivacaine is commonly used for both peripheral and spinal anesthesia. The pain-relief effects resulting from the peripheral and systemic administration of bupivacaine have been previously reported. In this study, the preventive effects of intrathecal bupivacaine administration against neuropathic pain were revealed in a rat model of sciatic nerve chronic constriction injury (CCI). Using a CCI rat model, pain hypersensitivity, characterized by mechanical allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia, correlated well with microglia M1 polarization, activation and pro-inflammatory cytokine expression in both spinal cord dorsal horns and sciatic nerves. Bupivacaine attenuated pain behaviors and inflammatory alternations. We further identified that the Interferon Regulatory Factor 5 (IRF5)/P2X Purinoceptor 4 (P2X4R) and High Mobility Group Box 1 (HMGB1)/Toll-Like Receptor 4 (TLR4)/NF-κB inflammatory axes may each play pivotal roles in the acquisition of microglia M1 polarization and pro-inflammatory cytokine expression under CCI insult. The relief of pain paralleled with the suppression of microglia M1 polarization, elevation of microglia M2 polarization, and inhibition of IRF5/P2X4R and HMGB1/TLR4/NF-κB in both the spinal cord dorsal horns and sciatic nerve. Our findings provide molecular and biochemical evidence for the anti-neuropathic effect of preventive bupivacaine.